A lot can change in a short amount of time, especially after a natural disaster has occurred. Two pictures before and after an event happens can really tell a story and show how fast the changes can happen over a period of time. Two pictures can also show us how human beings have impacted the way that a city or a terrain looks. We have collected a bunch of pictures that will show you how the world has changed over the years.
Rysstad, Norway, 1888 – 2013
A lot can happen over a matter of two centuries as you can see here in the city of Rysstad in Norway. The terrain was rough and underdeveloped in the past but fast forward to 2013 and you will see that people have settled in the area and built it up well.
Seljestad Juvet, Odda, Norway, 1887 – 2014
You can see how beautifully the natural ecosystem of the area has been preserved. This kind of preservation can only be found in Norway where people have not upset the natural terrain to the extent that has been done to other places in the world.
Martin Luther Statue, Dresden, Germany, 1958 – 2014
You can see how the restorations in the city of Dresden has changed the way that the city looks. After the Second World War, the city was left in a state of total destruction and the city officials decided that it was time for some reconstruction.
Hofbräuhaus München, Germany, 1910 – 2017
Looking at the two pictures, you will realize that the city of Hofbräuhaus München has not changed much over the years. The architecture has remained the same and this is also because many countries in the European Union have agreed not to bring skyscrapers into the region.
Quai Des Nations, Paris, France, 1900 – 2017
You can see how the bank of the Seine river have changed over the years. There used to be buildings along the bank but all of them are now gone and instead it is filled with greenery.
Corner Of Ratajczaka And Św. Marcin Streets, Poznań, Poland, 1945 – 2017
During the Second World War, the corner of the building in the picture above was destroyed by the heavy bombing by the German army. In the second picture however, the building has been restored to such an extent that you would never have thought that it had been destroyed in the first place.
Pripyat, Ukraine, 1986 – 2016
Once upon a time, the city of Pripyat was bustling with people working in the nuclear power plant or as a part of the civilization that had settled in the area. However, after the Chernobyl nuclear accident, the entire area was left abandoned and no human settlement is possible in the area for the foreseeable future.
Chaney Glacier, USA, 1911 – 2005
The government of the United States of America has been quite adamant about denying the existence of Climate Change. However, they just need to look at their own home and they will realize how drastically the climate has changed and how the glaciers are melting.
Engabreen Glacier, Norway, 1889 – 2010
The foot of the glacier had only ice, glacial gravel, water and bare mountain sides in a seemingly cold and hostile landscape. Now, more than 120 years later, the valley has become far more fertile. Birch forest, shore meadows, willow thickets and marshland have established themselves, while the glacier arm has retreated far back up the mountainside.
Moulin Rouge, Paris, France, 1900 – 2016
A fire in 1915 completely destroyed the theatre that you see in the first picture. The picture was taken sometime in the 1930s to show how it looked before the fire happened. The French rebuilt the theatre and then added some more character to the facade to bring it up to modern times.
Horse Cart And Steam Locomotive, Mont Saint-Michel, France, 1908 – 2016
Looking at the picture, you might think that this castle is from a Disney fairy tale. However, the Horse Cart And Steam Locomotive, which was quite the attraction back in the day, is now gone and instead, there is just a huge road in front of the castle. The horse cart and the steam locomotives have been replaced by modern automobiles.
Reichstag, Germany, 1945 – 2012
You can see the effect of the Second World War on the building and you can also see how beautifully the Germans have restored it. Just by looking at it, you could never tell that the effects of the war had damaged the building at all.
Hammerfest, Norway, 1889 – 2004
This is yet another depiction of how Norway has preserved its natural beauty and how people have settled into the area as well. The old buildings have been razed to the ground and new buildings have been erected in their place to make the town look more organized.
Frauenkirche Dresden, Dresden, Germany, 1897 – 2010
This church is one of the most imposing buildings in the city of Dresden. As a result of the World Wars, the church was demolished completely and the current building that you see was completed in 2005. It is amazing how the Germans were able to make it completely identical.
Tour Eiffel, Paris, France, 1910 – 2016
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world and is based in the city of love. People from all over the world have professed their love to their significant other here. However, you can see that while the tower itself has not undergone any changes over the years, the area around it has changed quite drastically.
Marcin Street, Poznań, Poland, 1945 – 2017
During the Second World War, the Marcin street was one of the worst hit places. The Nazi army brought devastation and people had to look through the rubble to look for their loved ones. However, the Polish rebuilt the entire area and it remains one of the busiest business centres in the country today.
Osnabrück, Germany, 1904 – 2016
These pictures show how a small farming community can grow into a huge town within a matter of a few decades. It is interesting how the boundaries of the fields in the 20th century became the roads for the town in the 21st century.
The Karlstor, Munich, Germany, 1946 – 2017
The Karlstor was a heavily fortified gate and it served as a major defense for the city of Munich. The Karlstor was the checkpoint for all the traders and soldiers entering the city of Munich but it has lost much of its use over the years and is just a tourist spot now.
Osnabrück Central Railway Station, Germany, 1965 – 2015
There was a time when the city was not as populated and was a quiet place about fifty years ago. All the men had just come back from the War and they were content with living a quiet life. However, fast forward 50 years and you can see how the city has grown exponentially.
Nowomiejska Street, Łódź, Poland, 1874 – 2016
It seems like the people of Łódź are content with the life they have had for hundreds of years. The little differences in the picture include taller buildings, cars and electricity in the city.
Paris, France, 1900 – 2017
The city of Paris had many tall buildings before the two World Wars but these buildings were demolished over time. Now, there are memorials all over the city in remembrance of all the people who gave their lives during the wars.
Szyperska Street, Poznań, Poland, 2006 – 2017
Szyperska Street was not a very friendly neighborhood to live in a few years ago. There was garbage all around and you could see that the city government was not taking much care of the street. However, within the space of a decade, the street became quite clean and is one of the best neighborhoods in the city today.
Kjeåsen Railway Bridge, Kjeåsen, Norway, 1927 – 2008
Urbanization has had a great impact on the Kjeåsen Railway Bridge. The structure still stands to date although there are some reinforcements that have been added to the bridge.
The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, 1900 – 2017
The Seine bank during the world’s fair of 1900. Next to the Eiffel Tower, the “Globe Céleste” was one of the main attractions. It was a monumental heavenly globe of 45 meters in diameter, in which visitors could sit in a chair, while panoramas of the solar system were passed over them.
Palais Im Großen Garten Dresden, Germany, 1900 – 2005
Although this building was destroyed after both World Wars, the Germans reconstructed it to make it look like the war had no effect on it whatsoever. It looks like a manor out of a novel from the 1800’s.
St. Matthew Evangelical Church, Łódź, Poland, 1937 – 2017
The St. Matthew Evangelical Church is so well preserved that the two images look like they were taken on the same day. The only differences that we can visibly see in the picture are that the windows are a whole lot cleaner, the picture is in color and there are two chairs missing in the front.
Osnabrück, Germany, 1953 – 2015
As the economy of the country improved after the wars, people began to get used to a better lifestyle. However, the cobblestone walkways and roads in the city were preserved to maintain an aesthetic look.
St-Gervais-Et-St-Protais, France, 1918 – 2017
The St-Gervais-Et-St-Protais church was destroyed during the First World War. Everything was ruined after the church was attacked and the devastation was a spectacle in itself. The church was built in 1212 and this was the first time that it was demolished to this level; but the French rebuilt the church from the ground up.
The Grinnell Glacier, Montana, USA, 1911 – 2008
The 1911 photo shows Grinnell Glacier poised at the top of the waterfalls. However, by 2008, the wall of ice is gone and Grinnell Glacier is not even visible. This is another picture from the United States of America showing how Climate Change is affecting the natural resources that we have on our planet.
Karlstor, Munich, Germany , 1910 – 2017
Much has changed in the picture below. This was because Munich was bombed to rubble during World War II and most of the buildings in the city had to be rebuilt from the ground up. As a result, while the structure remained the same, the ornate details were lost.
Köln Domplatte, Germany, 1945 – 2011
Weapons from the war were strewn all over Germany after 1945. You could see the vehicles that had been used and then discarded after the war was over. As a result, a lot of places were unsafe to walk around.
Gymnasium, Osnabrück, Germany, 1870 – 2015
The building in the picture has remained the same over the years with only a few additions to the attic. Other than that, the only changes include the cemented roads, the presence of the traffic lights and the new electric lines in the area.
Łódź, Poland, 1887 – 2015
The Nazi army had a major interest in Łódź because it was a major textile manufacturing hub in Poland and also the third largest city in the country. Even though the city was invaded by the Nazi army, the government has done a beautiful job in showing that it is just as beautifully preserved as it was before the war.
Hôtel De Ville, France, 1871 – 2014
This French hotel was quite imposing back in the day but it is even more imposing with the addition of the new rooftops and the building of the attics. This hotel was the seat of power for the city’s government.
Notre Dame, Paris, France, 1850 – 2016
This Catholic Church has always been iconic and well known for its beautiful design. Disaster struck in 2019 when the church caught on fire.
St. Nicholas’ Church, Berlin, Germany, 1939 – 2013
We are sure that this church was one of the buildings that suffered heavy bombing during the Second World War. However, the reconstruction has shown us how we can preserve history.
Poznań, Poland, 1977- 2016
There was a shortage of houses in Poland after the Second World War due to a population explosion and people had to settle into housing complexes instead of living peacefully in the suburbs. The country has solved this problem and you can see all the housing complexes that have sprung up in the last four decades.
Lunch Atop A Skyscraper, New York, USA, London, England, 1932 – 2011
This picture was a part of a marketing campaign for a construction company which was into building skyscrapers. It was quite a daring picture to be taken and the photographer is still unknown to this day.
The Place Des Victoires, Paris, France, 1914 – 2017
The Place Des Victoires is another place in France that is beautifully preserved. All that has changed is that the horse-drawn carriages have been replaced by automobiles.
Rudolstadt Marktstraße 54 Amtsgericht, Germany, 1906 – 2015
Apart from reinforcements and renovations, not much has changed in the Rudolstadt Marktstraße 54 Amtsgericht. The building is just as beautiful as it was in 1906.
L’viv, Ukraine, 1943 – 2017
It is rather strange to see the crowds in a city get smaller with time. You would expect that a town that was so busy in 1943 would be even busier since people are always moving to towns. However, the case with Lviv is different and people seem to have moved away from the city.
Bereich Um Das Brandenburger, Germany, 1928 – 2015
This is the same gate that was used as a Party Symbol for the Nazi Party during the Second World War. However, the gate was originally built during the time of Frederick William after the Thirty Year War.
Römerberg, Frankfurt, Germany, 1910 – 2017
Looking at this building, you would never be able to tell that it was built before the two world wars. You would expect the building to have been razed to the ground by the invading forces, but that is not the case.
Karl Johan Street, Norway, 1899 – 2007
It seems like Norway is quite into preserving the old structures that were built during the previous centuries. The world should follow the example of the Norwegians.
Sultan Abdul Samad, Malaysia, 1941 – 2016
While the rest of the buildings in Indonesia have risen to multiple storeys, the Sultan Abdul Samad Library chose to stay close to the ground.
Most Kłodny, Poland, 1900 – 2013
The bridge across the river is gone now, perhaps a result of the Second World War. We are sure that there is another bridge somewhere along the river to help people get from one part of the town to the other.
Notre-Dame, Paris, France, 1944 – 2017
The situation in France was bad during the Second World War. There were soldiers and tanks everywhere and people were living in fear. Thankfully the situation has changed now.
Portobello Beach, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1919 – 2016
This was how people interacted with each other and socialized before there were cell phones and social media platforms. They got together at the beach. However, now everyone is busy with their own life, no one seems to be able to relax.
Japanese Troops Advancing Through Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1942 – 2016
The Imperial Army of Japan was quite the dominant force in the 1940’s before the end of the Second World War. They were expanding their territories without anyone there to stop them. The entire Southeast Asian region was under the control of the Imperial Army.
Blick Vom Kap, Germany, 1961 – 2009
Even though the picture says that it is from 1961, we are sure that it must have been from 1861 since the unpaved roads were a sight to be seen in that century. There are other sources who say that the picture above is from a postcard that was dated 1909.
Warmenhuizen, Holland, 1950 – 2016
This small agricultural town in Holland has changed quite a lot over the last few decades. You can see how they evolved from travelling by water to automobiles.
Near Poznań, Poland, 1936 – 2017
There was a time when all you could see in Poland was the Nazi Army. However, that is all over now and there is peace in the region.
Pont Notre-Dame, France, 1910 – 2017
This is said to be the oldest bridge over the Seine river in Paris. The bridge is located near the Notre Dame church and it is one of the most visited bridges in the city.
Svartisen Glacier, Norway, 1989 – 2017
Just within a matter of three decades, a lot of the glacier has melted and we are closer to losing all of the glaciers on the planet. We would need to find a new source of freshwater for the rivers.
Osnabrück, Germany, 1914 – 2013
This is evidence that we are destroying nature, even if it is something as small as a shrub outside of a building. We just hope that the people left a few of the plants around the building.
Opera Hanoi, Hanoi, Vietnam, 1945 – 2015
There was a great uprising in Vietnam before the American army stepped in. Now, instead of seeing soldiers everywhere you look, there are just busy roads and cars.
St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, Ireland, 2004 – 2013
This is one of the most popular shopping centers in Dublin. It is a great place to visit during the holidays and it is always changing to ensure that the customers are happy.
Poznań, Poland, 1925 – 2016
You can clearly see that the trees in the city are all gone and there is nothing but concrete buildings all around. This was a result of the population explosion in Poland after the war.
Nordkap, Norway, 1975 – 2015
This couple recreated a picture from their honeymoon and you can see how things have changed. Of course we have better cameras now to capture more detail but it seems like the local government has removed much of the podium around the pillar.
The Old St. Louis County Courthouse, St. Louis, Illinois, 1865 – 2015
This official building has long been the seat of justice and it is quite amazing to see how the local city government has preserved it so that it can still be the justice provider today.
Brandenburger Tor, Berlin, Germany, 1976 – 2005
This gate was the separation between East Berlin and West Berlin. The sign in the picture above says “Attention, You’re leaving West Berlin.” We believe that the sign should have been left to remember those times.
Pavillons Of The Nations, Paris, France, 1900 – 2017
It is a real shame that the ornate buildings that you see in the postcard from 1900 are all gone. Today, there are no buildings in Paris that are as majestic as the Eiffel Tower.
Rentforter Straße, Germany, 1945 – 2017
The crashed tank and train in the picture was a result of the Second World War. The area was rebuilt from the ground up and it was to ensure that there was no memory of the time left behind.
National Textile Museum, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1971 – 2016
There was a time when the monsoon season in Malaysia meant that the streets were completely flooded. However, the country has developed quite a lot and their drainage system is one of the best in the world.
Checkpoint Charlie, Germany, 1961 – 2009
Checkpoint Charlie was the border between East Germany and West Germany and it was one of the few borders that was not barricaded. Today, there is a picture of an American soldier and on the other side of the border, there is a picture of a Soviet soldier.
San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge, California, 1980 – 2007
Some things do not change even with the passing of time. However, seeing California in the backdrop of the picture from the 80’s surely makes you believe that it was the most beautiful state in America back in the day.
Osnabrück, Germany, 1953 – 2015
Today, Osnabrück is one of the best places in the world to shop till you drop. Almost every major brand in the world is present here.
Cityscape, Montreal, Canada, 1996 – 2015
Canada never ceases to delight us. Even though the buildings have grown taller over the years, the country has ensured that there are ample trees to balance out the equation.
Rue De Rivoli, Paris, France, 1900 – 2016
This is one of the best planned streets in the world and it is a marvel that it was built so long ago. If the cars were replaced with chariots, Paris would become even more romantic than it is today.
Victory Gate, Munich, Germany, 1925 – 2017
The gate was commissioned by King Ludwig I of Bavaria, designed by Friedrich von Gärtner and completed by Eduard Mezger in 1852. The gate was dedicated to the glory of the Bavarian army and today, it is a monument of peace.
Ludwig’s House And Weavery, Łódź, Poland, 1873 – 2015
With the advent of urbanization, the unpaved roads are gone now and there is concrete tarmac that paves the streets of Łódź today.
Kyrkö Mosse, Sweden, 1980 – 2015
There are many people who want this car graveyard to be preserved, since it is a part of 20th century Swedish history, while there are others who claim that the leakage from the cars could pose a potential threat to the environment.
Rue St. Placide, Paris, France, 1944 – 2016
In 1940, Paris was occupied by German troops. As the Allied army approached the capital, this encouraged the Parisian population to resist. It came to a general strike, followed by open revolts. Everywhere in the city (such as here in the rue St. Placide) barricades were erected, and around the 20th of August, the Resistance had taken control of the city.
Poznań, Poland, 1968 – 2017
Poznań is one of the oldest cities in Poland and it has been busy in the city ever since the early settlers came. Today, there is some quiet in the city but it remains one of the central places for business and leisure in the country.
Seine From Pont De L’alma, Paris, France, 1900 – 2017
It must have been really convenient for people to have access to the river just by stepping out of their homes and offices. It is quite sad that the buildings have been pushed away from the river today.
Höffken House, Essen-Burgaltendorf, Germany, 1951 – 2016
Do you see a child in the top floor window in the picture from 1951? Is it at all possible that the child is still in the picture from 2016 and is pushing the wheelchair of his mother?
Hotel Aquantis, Langeoog, Germany, 1989 – 2016
Once upon a time, this hotel was thriving, but the number of guests started to decrease as time went on. The management gave the hotel a complete do-over in 2016 when it was under major repairs, and today it receives the patronage that it deserves.